‘It’s extraordinary’: fmr special coordinator praises Solomons as RAMSI leaves

Nick Warner Speaking in Honiara on Wednesday

At the heart of the RAMSI’s success in its early stages was the overwhelming support of the Solomon Islands people, the Solomon Islands’ first special coordinator Nick Warner says.

Making the statement at a high level half day symposium in Honiara on Wednesday, Mr Warner, who entered the country at the same time about 1800 military personal came in 2003 to bring peace to the nation, said the Solomons was a much different place to what it was 14 years ago.

He said the police force, which was at the heart of the conflict, was now more stronger and well-resourced.

“Solomon Islands now has one of the lowest rates of gun-related violence in the world with under 20 incidents since RAMSI arrived,” he said.

“I think that’s incredible.

“The economy is growing with new prospects emerging and palm oil, fisheries and tourism and I am delighted that primary school enrolments are now running at 92 percent to the time of The Tensions, schooling had all but collapsed.

“Politics in Solomon Islands is vibrant, but it’s peaceful and the media remains boisterous and it’s free and the country now has capable government institutions.”

Meanwhile, Mr Warner added this transformation came about through the work of thousands of RAMSI personnel across the Pacific.

The crowd at the symposium

He said the heart of its success was the overwhelming support from Solomon Islanders.

“When we arrived, Solomon Islanders opened their arms and they open their hearts to RAMSI and embrace the chance to rebuild this beautiful country.

“The transformation of Solomon Islands would not have happened without them.

“In that speech I made as RAMSI first arrived on 24th July 2003, I said that we were determined that from that day forward, Solomon Islands would have a better life, a safer life and a more prosperous life. I like to think that the promises we made to Solomon Islanders then have been met.”

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